In honor of Military Appreciation Month, I am dedicating my May column to the great partnership between Snohomish County and our military.
Snohomish County has played host to the United States Military numerous times, beginning in the spring of 1941. The Army Corps of Engineers operated Paine Field for five years in support of our efforts in World War II. In 1946, the military left Paine Field and two years later, it was transferred to Snohomish County’s ownership.
The most significant military presence in Snohomish County is Naval Station Everett (NSE). We are fortunate to have great neighbors in the Navy as the Station contributes greatly to our communities and local economy. Naval Station Everett was officially opened on April 8, 1994. It is currently home to five guided-missile destroyers including the USS Shoup, USS Momsen, USS Kidd, USS Gridley, and USS Sampson as well as Commander of Carrier Strike Group 11 and Commander of Destroyer Squadron 9.
Naval Station Everett is host to over 7,000 active duty and civilian members. These members live in our communities, frequent our local businesses, and send their children to our schools. The overall economic impact of Naval Station Everett on Snohomish County is estimated at $475 million annually. This impact is in the form of direct and indirect transactions from maintenance of military equipment to local spending by the members of the military.
On April 12, 2018, I attended the State of the Station address where Captain Mark Lakamp (Station Commander) gave an update and shared important information about Naval Station Everett. Captain Lakamp detailed the innovative ways that the station and its fleet are saving energy as well as their commitment to clean water. He also announced the arrival of a sixth guided-missile destroyer, the USS Ralph Johnson, which arrived at port in Everett on Friday, April 27th. This was Captain Lakamp’s last State of the Station address as he will be stationed somewhere else. We are thankful to Capt. Lakamp for his service in Everett since 2015.
While hosting Naval Station Everett is a great honor and produces a positive economic impact, it can be challenging to coordinate land use activities that can harmonize with each other. Currently, Naval Station Everett is applying for funding to conduct a Joint Land Use Study with the City of Everett, Snohomish County, and other stakeholders. This study will help to inform policy makers moving forward of the impacts that development, traffic, and naval activity can have on neighboring jurisdictions and guide us as we continue to work together to support our shared goals.
Snohomish County is proud to host Naval Station Everett and the many military and civilian personnel associated with it. I hope we all take time this Military Appreciation Month to let them know how much we value their sacrifice for our freedoms and remember those lost while fighting for them.
Nate Nehring is a member of the Snohomish County Council and represents District 1 which includes Arlington, Darrington, Granite Falls, Marysville, Stanwood, and unincorporated north county. He can be reached by email at Nate.Nehring@snoco.org or by phone at 425-388-3494.